Quotation Zeithaml, Valarie A., Verleye, Katrien, Hatak, Isabella, Koller, Monika, Zauner, Alexander. 2020. Three Decades of Customer Value Research: Paradigmatic Roots and Future Research Avenues. Journal of Service Research - JSR. 23 (4), 409-432.




The last three decades have witnessed a resurgence of research on the topic of customer value. In search of a comprehensive integration and analysis of this research—including conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement—we examined the myriad journal publications on the construct. We acknowledge that while some of the literature can be fully integrated, other parts are more difficult because they represent three different paradigms: positivist, interpretive, and social constructionist. We begin by briefly describing these three paradigms. Next, we detail the many studies representing the positivist paradigm, literature capturing customer value from just the customer’s perspective and using deductive logic. We designate the second paradigm as interpretive, in that researchers are interested in understanding the subjective nature of customer value along with its emergence through inductive logic. The third paradigm, the social constructionist, frames customer value as emerging from value co-creation practices in complex ecosystems. Building upon the commonalities and differences among research studies stemming from the positivist, interpretive, and social constructionist paradigms, we propose how researchers can complement one another to move the customer value field forward.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Service Research - JSR
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new MAR-A+, STRAT-A, WH-A
Language English
Title Three Decades of Customer Value Research: Paradigmatic Roots and Future Research Avenues
Volume 23
Number 4
Year 2020
Page from 409
Page to 432
Reviewed? Y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1094670520948134
Open Access N


Koller, Monika (Details)
Hatak, Isabella (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Verleye, Katrien (Ghent University, Belgium)
Zauner, Alexander (Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria)
Zeithaml, Valarie A. (Kenan-Flagler Business School, United States/USA)
Institute for Marketing and Consumer Research IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5301 Distributive trades (Details)
5307 Business and management economics (Details)
5320 Marketing (Details)
5321 Market research (Details)
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